“Gender equality and women’s empowerment are fundamental to the global mission of the United Nations to achieve equal rights and dignity for all. This is a matter of basic human rights, as enshrined in our founding Charter and the Universal Declaration.
It is good to note that Mundawanga is one of the amazing parks among the many well preserved national parks, forest reserves and game management areas covering over 40 percent of Zambia. This is what makes Zambia to be a repository of globally significant biodiversity of flora and fauna. Nonetheless, it is timely to remind ourselves that Zambia has some way to go in order to ensure the harnessing of biodiversity with proper mechanisms of protection and preservation.
The ability of a society to maintain safety and essential public services, protect human rights, maintain an efficient framework for market activities and to hold free and fair elections draws on the skills and sense of purpose of public servants working as a team. Without an effective civil administration, democracy and prosperity are virtually unattainable.
The HIV prevalence in Zambia has dropped to 14.3% from 15.6%. However, this is still quite high. The uptake of VCT services are still unacceptably low in Zambia with only 1.5 million of our population (15%) being tested for HIV despite Government and non-governmental organizations efforts to make VCT Services as widely available as possible. However, people keep away from accessing VCT services.
Without greater progress in reducing the rate of new HIV infections we cannot reverse the epidemic and cannot sustain access to treatment. In the light of this, I am glad to note that Zambia realizes the need to focus on prevention as noted at the NAC Convention from 3-5 November 2009 which identified the major drivers of HIV in Zambia, critical for targeted prevention programmes.
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